Category Archives: Water and Drainage Issues

No Where Your Nearest Fire Hydrant Is?

Behind that hedge is Fire Hydrant

During 2017 California has seen an unprecedented number of wildfires, over 9,000 fires destroying over 1,250,000 acres burned, and is shaping up to be one of the most financially destructive on record. As a result of that and several news stories about failed infrastructure, something we rarely think about has popped into mind.

Do you have any idea where your nearest fire hydrant is?
Is it’s location properly marked and is it properly identified and visible?
Is it in good repair and proper working order?
How many Gallons per minute is it rated for?

According to Elsinore Valley Municipal Water District (EVMWD) in response to a Public Records Request:
1. The number of fire hydrants located within the boundaries of the City of Wildomar are 1,779. The total consists of 224 commercial and 1,555 residential fire hydrants

Is that Hydrants location properly marked per Wildomar Municipal Code
Wildomar Municipal Code Title 8 Health and Safety
Chapter 8.28 Fire Code
8.28.020 Amendments to the California Fire Code.
507.5.8 Fire hydrant street marker.

Fire hydrant locations shall be visually indicated in accordance with Riverside County Fire Department Technical Policy 06-11, as may be amended from time to time. Any hydrant marker damaged or removed during the course of street construction or repair shall be immediately replaced by the contractor, developer or person responsible for removal or damage.

Link to Riverside County Technical Policy 06-11

Is the Gallons Per Minute for the Hydrant properly marked?
A document produced by the National Fire Prevention Association known as NFPA 291, says fire hydrants using public water supply systems should be painted chrome yellow, and their tops and caps should indicate the available GPM. Below 500 GPM should be red, 500-999 GPM should be orange, 1000-1499 GPM should be green, and 1500 GPM or more should be blue.
This document also states in Section 4.13
Fire Hydrants should be flow tested every five years to verify capacity and marking of the hydrant
Fire Hydrants should be flushed at least annually to verify operation, address repairs and verify reliability.

EVMWD per an email response to a public records request states that:
3. The inspection cycle of the fire hydrants within the District boundary is done in accordance with our valve maintenance which currently is being done between three and five years.

Do you know when yours was last tested. Is it properly marked.
The Fire Hydrants in the area around city hall are properly marked. All others are suspect.

Outside Council Chambers

As to the question of whether it is in proper working condition who really knows.
The water district which owns these hydrants is not willing to share access to a map showing the location, manufacturer, last testing date of any of its fire hydrants.
As stated in a response to a public records request:
4. A digital map of the location, manufacturer of and date of manufacture of each hydrant, date of inspection and inspection results of the above fire hydrants. – N/A

This despite the fact that they have used ARC/GIS mapping since the late 1990’s as shown in the following article:
Fire Hydrant Inventory Made Simple
with ArcPad
By Jim A. Ollerton, GIS Manager, Elsinore Valley Municipal Water District
The Elsinore Valley Municipal Water District (EVMWD) in Southern California will update data on approximately 4,000 fire hydrants using ArcPad, a handheld computer, and a GPS unit. By using custom forms created for ArcPad, data collectors will not only verify the location of the district’s hydrants but will also gather information on the make, condition, and capacity of each hydrant.
EVMWD uses an ArcInfo-based enterprise GIS to manage this system. In 1999, the district’s GIS staff began inputting fire hydrant flow tests into the GIS database and linking the results to features. During this process, staff discovered that many hydrants were not in the GIS database. These hydrants exist in an older part of the distribution system that has poorly kept records.
In addition to the need to simply locate all the hydrants to link the test results, the local fire authorities wanted detailed information about fire hydrants such as the type of hydrant, number of outlets, size of each outlet, and other information. Requests for hydrant information originating from two sources-within EVMWD and from local fire agencies-made the GIS staff decide that it was time for a fire hydrant inventory.

The city of Los Angeles Fire Hydrant Locations can be viewed at:
This map contains much of this information.
The City of San Diego is also forthcoming with this info at:

While traveling from wildomar city hall to home I came across three fire hydrants that are in serious need of repair. (All are in the Very High Fire Severity Zone) The photos below show the current condition in January 2018 and a Google View taken in May 2015 showing the same condition (2 years, 8 months between dates)

End of Baxter Rd just after turning of Porras Rd.

I have come across numerous others since then.

Gruwell St. at Union St. a block away from the fire station.

Malaga at Mission Trail in Wildomar

Olive at Grape St., Wildomar

Across from the Waba Grill in the Albertson’s Parking Lot, near City Hall

While researching who is responsible it was found to be Elsinore Valley Municipal Water District (EVMWD).
This information can be found in the
§ 3167. Physical Inventory of Fixed Assets
The District will account for and inventory all assets at least once every three years.
§ 3202. Definitions.
J. Public Fire Protection Service means the service and facilities of
the entire water supply, storage and distribution system of the
District, including the fire hydrants affixed thereto and the water
available for fire protection, excepting house service connections
and appurtenances thereto.
§ 3208. Public Fire Protection.
A. Use of Fire Hydrants. Fire hydrants are for use by the District or
by organized fire protection agencies. Other parties desiring to
use fire hydrants for any purposes must first make application
prior to use and shall operate the hydrant in accordance with
instructions issued by the District. Unauthorized use of hydrants
will be prosecuted according to law.

Has Wildoslavia failed again

Is this pothole the result of wildoslavia not cleaning out another storm drain

Evidence of a Storm Drain below this hole is provided by the Lakeland Village Master Drainage Plan

In the black circle is where this pothole is

This is so reminiscent of the Prairie Street Storm Drain of a couple of years ago.

This was the second time this occurred within weeks.

The outflow end of the above drain. This was taken 2 years ago and nothing has been done since.


Some residents are truly gullible beyond belief.
My biggest takeaway from it is that Wildomar is getting it’s 4th park. The park is park of Grove Park mixed use development on the east side of the freeway off of Clinton Keith Rd.

Figure 1
Parcels 3 and 5 are already Wildomars 4th Park

One would first have to forget the 27 acres of parkland purchased with a measly 1.9 million dollars ($1,900,000.00)of Quimby Fees provided by the residents of Wildomar.
Let us not forget the additional $300,000.00 in Quimby Fee’s that came with the transfer from the County of Riverside to the City of Wildomar. This purchase occurred almost 8 years ago on May 6, 2008. (7 years 8 months)

Below is the link to the Riverside County Board of Supervisors action on July 16, 2013 wherein they transferred title to two parcels and the last 300K in Quimby Fees held by the County of Riverside

This property was accepted by the City of Wildomar on November 13, 2013 by Resolution 2013-41

After forgetting about the above purchase one would have to deem the currently talked about 1.8 acre property as a park.

Hook 1A

For a view to give you perspective Section A-A

Hook 4A

The elevation change on the left at the “Bioretention Planter” to the pad on the left is 17.8 feet.
The elevation change on the right at the point A-A crosses the sidewalk which is at the base of the slope up to the sidewalk along the roadway is 10 feet.

An example of something similar can be found at Regency Heritage Park. The hillside next to the homes on Autumn Oak is approximately 4 feet from the elevation of the basketball court with a 6 foot block wall above that for 10 feet total.


The full effect of this retention basin will be felt with every significant rainfall as shown by the 4.25 acre Drainage Management Area A shown below.

Hook 3A

This DMA directs three separate storm drains into the bioretention basin before it exits to the west property line.

What is left over after the hillsides, retention basin and parking lot is approximately 11,000 square feet (.25 acres) of relatively flat property.

There is an attempt to make the sidewalk from the bottom parking lot up to the commercial center ADA compliant. ADA allows for a maximum grade of 5% and this developer proposes a 4.9% grade. The issue here is the California State Parks Guidelines call for rest areas on difficult trails every 200 feet. Rest areas are defined as level portions of a trail wide enough to provide wheelchair users and others a place to rest and gain relief from prevailing grade and cross-slope demands. The most inviting rest areas have a bench, shade, a place to rest bicycles, and a trash receptacle.

This sidewalk would benefit from 2 such rest areas, one at the switch back and one approximately 1/2 the distance down the hill.

Lastly of the 19 parking spaces shown not one is a van accessible handicap parking space.

Next on tap will be the Oak Preserve with the Regional Trail Head.

First thing to look at is the trail extends only as far as the parking lot next to the Tot-Lot. The Oak Preserve is fenced between the Preserve and the development.
Secondly even if the trail were built from Yamas to the beginning of the trail the climb in/out of the Oak Preserve would be via a 2:1 slope or 50% grade. Not ADA compliant.
Third – as shown the trail exiting the western edge of the property is a reported 7.5% grade. Again not ADA compliant.
With storm drain coming in capable of 500 cfs in a 100 year event this basin will soon look like Regency Heritage Park, a disaster.

Hook 6A

By allowing this 1.8 acre sight to be called a park when in reality is contains a .25 acre area capable of recreation the citizens of this community will be cheated out of impact fees that could be used to work on the existing 27 acres of parkland already owned by the city.


Encampment -1

The city of wildomar (this means staff as the citizens haven’t been asked their opinion) has expressed an interest in utilizing a future retention basin as a city park. This area had one such basin/park in the 1990’s located in the Canyon Crest tract of homes at the intersection of Great Falls Road and View Crest Drive. When Ortega Trails Park District ceased to exist the right to access was relinquished back to Riverside County Flood Control. Never to be thought about again.

This is the former Canyon View Park which had a slab for basketball a few table and a walking trail around the perimeter along the top. All paid for by residents of the former Ortega Trails Park District.

Tomorrow on Tuesday November 17, 2015 at the Riverside County Board of Supervisor’s meeting there will be a vote on Item 11-2. This vote will be to spend $3,320,000 (that’s 3 1/3 million dollars) to purchase just under 20 acres of land for a potential retention basin.

The real issue here is the location of this future basin places it directly across the street from the future Walmart making this location ripe for unwanted development. Namely the “Wildomart Homeless Encampment”

Retention Property
This property is directly across from the future Super Walmart.

The city of wildomar has expressed an interest to the County of Riverside to possibly use the basin site as a joint flood control/park. One only has to look at the current state of Regency Heritage Park in Wildomar, an Open Channel in the Lakeland Village Master Drainage Plan, to see where this will end up.
The above photos of Regency were taken months apart

The entire Board of Supervisors packet for this can be found at


Lest you think I forgot, the deficiencies in Wildomar’s Premier Sports Park they are numerous with some of them down right dangerous.
This 9.007 acre park is located at 20505 Palomar St. Wildomar CA 92595.

During the previous 2 fiscal years the city has spent: $2967,269.00
FY 2013-14 $140,412.00 as certified in the Measure Z Annual Report
FY 2014-15 156,857.00 as of May 31, 2015 per City of Wildomar 4th Quarter Expenditure Status Report page 488 of 491 of 06-24-15 City Council Agenda.
Projected expenditures are: (Per the City Council Agenda of 06-24-2015 Biennial Operating Budget Fiscal Years 2015-16 & 2016-17 page 232 of 491)
FY 2015-16 $179,600
FY 2016-17 $189,200
This brings the 4 year total to $665,799.00
Links can found below.

Despite the cities claim of this park being 9.6565 acres it is only 9.007 acres in size.
Claim can be found at!marna-obrien-park/c210
It contains 3 baseball fields, which can accommodate 2 soccer fields when not being used for baseball, its one or the other not both at a time. It also contains two full courts for basketball at Tot-Lot and 3 gazebos. There are restrooms and parking for approximately 150 cars.

This park is not staffed, the ballfields nor the soccer fields are marked (except by the leagues currently using them)nor are there any bases

or soccer goals, the city has no equipment. Contractors provide mowing, emptying of trash cans and the cleaning of restrooms.

Opening Day in April April of 2014 one found a monument to thirst which has only most recently been made partially whole.

This picture was taken a couple of days after opening day.

This picture was taken a couple of days after opening day.

There is no water being dispensed, the structure coming apart between the two faucets and the push button covers are missing.
Water is present

Water is present

The push buttons are still missing and there is still a separation.

The push buttons are still missing and there is still a separation.

Other items that have been fixed over the many months are

The bucket used for a lamp pole base.

The bucket used for a lamp pole base.

A brand new base.

A brand new base.

This occurred after the Parks Master Plan photo shoot, so the bucket will live in infamy on the Chapter 1 Introduction page of the Wildomar Parks Master Plan.

Agenda Item #3.2 beginning on page 648 of 780. Picture in question is on page 663 of 780. (The whole page is the picture)

The chimes now tinkle rather than thunk.

Trash cans were missing for months after opening day which cost less than a 100 bucks total to replace.
January saw the new cans 8 months after opening day. A place to put the trash wasn’t a priority.

The storm drain system is to this day not maintained despite a document on file with the regional water board requiring it, along with a Project Specific Water Quality Management Plan with cost the taxpayers thousands of dollars to prepare.
First two pages (of 359 pages) are pretty clear, this plan applies to this park and the plan will be implemented by whomever owns the park in perpetuity.

This is a common site when looking at any of the 8 field drains that are required to be cleaned on regular basis by qualified personnel.

Rather than continue explaining the history of it below you will find deficiencies as they exist over a year after this park opened. These problems are only going to get worse unless this city starts to spend our money wisely.

Its not an illusion the fence is two different colors. White and Off-white

Its not an illusion the fence is two different colors. White and Off-white

Notice that the caps are missing as well as the color being off.

All the boards have been in need of a paint job and now replacement for over a year

All the boards have been in need of a paint job and now replacement for over a year


A year ago these pipes were straight, note the bottom one.

A year ago these pipes were straight, note the bottom one.

An accident waiting to happen. Maintenance was told of this months ago.

An accident waiting to happen. Maintenance was told of this months ago.

Another accident waiting are the exposed screws were the missing end caps (cost about 4 bucks ea) are a year later.
Water polo anyone?

Water polo anyone?

This could go on for pages, to see what this park really look like take a walk through it with an open mind.

Before I forget we do have the graffiti under control.
With city sponsored graffiti.


At the May 13, 2015 Wildomar City Council Meeting staff was directed to assume ownership and maintenance responsibilities for certain parcels of land lying between Grand Avenue and Palomar Street.
A total of six parcels were added to correct a 2009 agreement. APN’s 370-443-018, 370-443-019, 370-493-027, 370-493-028, 370-500-018 and 370-500-019. (Regency Heritage Park) Parcel number 370-500-020 was originally transferred along with Marna O’Brien Park, Windsong Park and an additional strip of storm channel bordering Windsong Park.
This correction to the original agreement in my opinion continues to lack the mention of two APN’s thereby leaving those two parcels in the hands of the county.

Compare to the map in the council agenda and see if you can tell which two parcels are never mentioned.

Compare to the map in the council agenda and see if you can tell which two parcels are never mentioned.
The complete picture above is on page 319 of 675

Agenda Item #1.15
Certificate of Acceptance – Regency Heritage Park and Adjacent Easements

In the background information provided by staff is the following:
The strips of land enhance the city’s trail system by connecting Palomar and Grand Avenue to the Park.

What is left out of this information is the fact this property contains easements for the free flow of water for hundreds of acres of land surrounding Regency Heritage Park (approximately 1500 cubic feet a second during a 100 year event). Regency Tract along with Heritage Tract also drain into the park and this newly acquired property at several points. This with the drainage from as far away as Marna O’Brien Park, portions of the Windmill Tract along with a large portion of the Woodmoor Tract of Homes and the hills located west of Grand Ave. Easements for utility purposes granted to Elsinore Valley Municipal Water District also occupy a portion of these properties.


A rainy day in February

A rainy day in February

Over the years parts of this property were held by the former Ortega Trails Recreation District and the County of Riverside Economic Development Agency (EDA) under the REDEVELOPMENT PROJECT AREA No. 1-1986, AMENDMENT No. 1, LAKELAND VILLAGE/WILDOMAR SUB-AREA.

Now the City of Wildomar has accepted responsibility for these lots without fully understanding the cost. Looking at the Fiscal impact statement

Maintenance of the Lots for the Trails will now be the responsibility of the City.

The city appears to be saying the cost will be funded by the Development Impact Fees for Trails even though out of the 26 foot width half is currently relegated to Storm Water Control for which we currently collect nothing in this area for maintenance.

A portion of this trail easement lies over a 30 inch storm drain pipe which is 50% occluded with sediment.


The last storm drain this city cleaned of approximately the same length and twice the diameter cost over $90,000. If this enclosed system cost half that were looking at almost 50 thousand dollars, not including the open channel portion of approximately 500 feet containing several feet of sediment, trash and weeds.

Then we have the portion under Grand Ave with a connection to the Woodmoor Tract which is filling fast with sediment.

To Woodmoor

To Woodmoor

To the hills west of Grand Ave.

To the hills west of Grand Ave.

Gates are wide open and have been for months

Gates are wide open and have been for months

Maybe you are asking what’s the big deal, the city will surely find the money to improve this trail. If the past is any indicator don’t count on it. I refer you back to a project started by the County of Riverside and lost in the transition to cityhood. The link below explains it well.
A past article about the loss of a $400,000 Redevelopment project on Palomar Bryant Streets.

Then there is the Justin T Hunt Memorial Trail located along the back side of the Windstone Tract of Homes. This 1-1/4 mile D.G. trail is in need of
1. indentity (who owns it) and what happened to the monuments that Supervisor Bob Buster’s office contributed taxpayer monies to the tune of $2,000.00 for
2. TLC numerous areas of broken fences need repair, ruts and holes need to be filled.

One entrance can be found on the mountainside of Grand Ave at the end of Gruwell St.

Gruwell Entrance and Hitching Area.

Gruwell Entrance and Hitching Area.

with the other entrance at the end of Penrose St.

Penrose Entrance - not ADA compliant.

Penrose Entrance – not ADA compliant.

Parking for those wanting security can be had along Grand Ave next to David A Brown Middle School, this is necessary due to both Penrose and Gruwell being unimproved roadways with no clear definition of where the roadway begins and ends.
More on this trail to come.


Working to eliminate these

Working to eliminate these

Commissioners of Zone 3 of the Riverside County Flood Control and Water Conservation District will hold a Budget Work Session at 9:00 a.m. on Thursday, April 9, 2015 at the First District Supervisor’s Office, 31569 Canyon Estates Drive, Suite 113, Lake Elsinore.
The purpose of the meeting is to discuss the budgeting of projects for Fiscal Year 2015-2016.


Commissioners of Zone 7 of the Riverside County Flood Control and Water Conservation District will hold a Budget Work Session at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, April 9, 2014 at Temecula City Hall, Great Oak Room, 41000 Main Street, Temecula. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss the
budgeting of projects for Fiscal Year 2015-2016.

In exchange for something more like this

In exchange for something more like this


Chalk painting on a sidewalk in a rainstorm.

Chalk painting on a sidewalk in a rainstorm.

The city of wildomar is once again embarking on a series of projects conducted by children at Regency Heritage Park before they the City of Wildomar has determined the fate of this facility in regards to County of Riverside Flood Control and the Lakeland Village Master Drainage Plans Open Channel A.
Despite recent devastation that has taken place on several occasions since the passage of Measure Z at Regency Heritage Park.

February event with one inch of rain in 24 hours.

February event with one inch of rain in 24 hours.

August event with 1/3 of an inch.

August event with 1/3 of an inch.

September 16th this park got a major scrubbing.

September 16th this park got a major scrubbing.

December 12th another 1 inch event.

December 12th another 1 inch event.

This city continues to approve one project after another.

Never mind that these project will disappear with each rain event, there is also a very good possibility they will become a part of the future flood control channel which will handle up to 1,000 cubic feet a second of run-off in a 100 year event.
At a January 29 Riverside County Flood Control public budget hearing this channel was described as “going to take the path of least resistance, as straight a line as possible”.
This would place this 42 foot wide by 6 foot deep facility smack dab in the middle of this park taking out a gazebo, sidewalks, the notorious bridge/dam/waterfall, and about half of the neglected dog park.

Neglected is an understatement

One of four gates with broken latches rendering them unusable

One of four gates with broken latches rendering them unusable

Almost a year after opening the post in the background is still broken

Almost a year after opening the post in the background is still broken
[caption id="attachment_1412" align="alignnone" width="640"]Ruts get deeper with every rain event Ruts get deeper with every rain event

Not only are latches broken, paint peeling, holes in fences months after the parks opening, plants dead or dying but concern about this neglected facility in non existent.
The first order of business would be to obtain an abstract of title on this parcel.
An abstract of title is the condensed history of title to a particular parcel of real estate, consisting of a summary of the original grant and all subsequent conveyances and encumbrances affecting the property and a certification by the abstractor that the history is complete and accurate.
After this document is obtained the city can then plan out the next moves such as will County Flood need to purchase land from the city for this expanded channel or will they need to swap land in exchange for this.
In their haste to take over the park system from the county after becoming a city many important steps were overlooked.



The prescient prognosticators of Wildomar seem to have a clog in the synaptic cleft causing the nerve impulses to wander into the stratosphere of the imagination.

In the Measure Z Oversight Advisory Committee “independent audit” the rainmaker relived an out of body experience explained below.

Park rehab activities at Regency – Heritage park sustained significant damage during an afternoon spring storm in which over 5 inches of rain was received in 2 hours on the freshly planted slopes. The park is part of the County flood control system and acts as a storm drain channel. With the severity of the storm and micros bursts, the channel was inundated with debris which has hampered the parks timely restoration.

Freshly Planted?, the Great Day of Service was held on October 26, 2013. This rain event sounds about as fictional as the narrative provided the League of Cities.
In which it was claimed $100,000 in donations was raised. (Only if one counts the “anonymous donor”, not, as even with the 40K promised this fell far short of 100K.

The first month with days in the spring season.

The first month with days in the spring season.

This audit is for the 2013-2014 fiscal year with the parks reopening on April 12, 2014.
In most north temperate zone locations, spring months are March, April and May, with spring beginning technically on March 20, 2014 and ending on June 20, 2014.

The month the parks opened shows just under a quarter of an inch

The month the parks opened shows just under a quarter of an inch

The bulk of Aprils rainfall, .200 fell on the 24th and 25th of the month.

Using the data available from for Wildomar which has a weather station which is located in the City of Wildomar near Durango Ct. and Union St, this places the weather station 3200 feet or 6 tenths of a mile as the crow flies from Regency Heritage Park and 2000 feet from Marna O’Brien one finds this statement to be complete fabrication of someones extremely vivid imagination as the whole rainfall season for 2013-2014 shows less half of the stated rainfall of one micro burst.
Seasonal Rainfall
Like “Punxsutawney Phil” (who was dropped on his head or “Concord Charlie” maybe even the lastest to join “Mojave Maxine” these predictions while fun to hear are about as accurate as shooting spit-wads in a hurricane.

Another bit of fiction in the claim is that Regency Heritage Park is a part of the County Flood system. Although there is an enormous volume of water channeled towards this park only a standard 10 foot wide easement for the free flow of water exist in county records.



The removal of sediment in excess of a hundred cubic yards from the Prairie Road Storm Drain, only part of what was in there, has led to a series of serious problems that need to be addressed by the City of Wildomar.
The most serious of the new problems is the lack of grates covering both the entrance and exit of this large storm drain.

The open entrance to this drain led to

The open entrance to this drain led to

Some one found a new place to wine and dine.

Some one found a new place to wine and dine.

If the City of Wildomar should neglect this little detail it won’t be long before stories like this start to appear.

A day after a child drowned when he was sucked a half mile through a rain-swollen storm drain, village officials hastily decided on Wednesday to install a grate over the pipe.

Two years later “Village has agreed to pay $2.8 million”

Stories like these occur across the country because officials don’t consider the consequences of the curious child or teenager’s for that matter.

“Children are naturally curious about what’s in that pipe”

The storm drain where the teenager went in is about 54 inches in diameter but the pipe expands to about 10 feet. There could be up to 67,000 gallons of water per minute flowing through the pipe, officials said.

The pipe located in Prairie Road is listed as a 60 inch concrete pipe.

Some local governments have placed grates over dangerous stormwater pipes — but only after tragedy. As there are no federal guidelines mandating that potentially dangerous pipe openings be covered or fenced off.

This is a sight this community can do without by spending a few dollars to do it right.

Speaks for itself

Speaks for itself

One simple solution would be chain-link as found on Mission Trail at Malaga

Or a simple grate as seen at the new park site next to Ronald Reagan Elementary School. (Better maintained though)

Another solution can be found on Bryant Street east of Palomar.

The solutions to this situation are out there and currently being used in the area. This city needs to spend the time and money to do it correctly.